The U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville’s Chemical Warfare Materiel Design Center (CWMDC) located within the Ordnance and explosives Directorate is the sole provider of environmental response activities that involve Chemical Warfare Materiel (CWM) for the Army and Department of Defense.
The CWMDC functions as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lead for environmental response actions and other activities that may involve CWM. Additionally, it serves as an adviser to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment for execution policy related to CWM issues.
Chemical Warfare Materiel Defined
CWM items are generally configured as a munition containing a chemical compound that is intended to kill, seriously injure or incapacitate a person through its physiological effects. CWM includes V- and G-series nerve agents or H-series (mustard) and L-series (lewisite) blister agents in other than munition configurations; and certain industrial chemicals, e.g., hydrogen cyanide (AC), cyanogens chloride (CK), or carbonyl dichloride (called phosgene or CG) configured as a military munition. CWM does not include: riot control devices; chemical defoliants and herbicides; industrial chemicals, e.g., AC, CK or CG, not configured as a munition; smoke and other obscuration producing items; flame and incendiary producing items; or soil, water, debris or other media contaminated with low concentrations of chemical agents where no hazards exist.
CWMDC executes projects under the regulatory framework of both Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. Projects span the gamut of environmental programs such as Formerly Used Defense Sites, Installation Restoration Program, Active Army Military Munitions Response Program, and Base Realignment and Closures. Program requirements include preparing contract performance work statements and independent government estimates; overseeing the CWM safety and occupational health, technical and administrative aspects of the field work for design and removal actions for CWM; maintaining contract capacity for CWM design and response services; providing a safety specialist to all site activities to ensure safety procedures are followed; providing technically qualified personnel to conduct CWM designs, investigation and remediation actions pertaining to CWM; retaining responsibility for all CWM site activities from the beginning of mobilization to the destruction on-site or transportation of CWM — this includes the assessment and interim storage; and requests for support from other government agencies for CWM projects.
The CWMDC works with a variety of other government agencies in the program execution. These include the U.S. Army Materiel Command; Chemical, Biological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosives (CBRNE) Analytical and Remediation Activity; Combat Capabilities Development Command – Chemical Biological Center; Recovered Chemical Warfare Materiel Directorate; Army Environmental Command; U.S. Army Technical Center for Explosive Safety and the DOD Explosive Safety Board.
Download the Chemical Warfare Materiel Design Center fact sheet HERE.